By Dumisani Nyoni
Bulawayo, November 28, 2016 – BLACK market cash dealers in Bulawayo were on Monday thankful to authorities for introducting a local currency with cases of people who were already visiting the illicit market to change their monies, some few hours after the currency was released.
Local banks on Monday started issuing out bond notes in the small denominations of $2 and $5 despite resistance by ordinary Zimbabweans.
But before they even make an impact into the market, illegal money dealers (osiphatheleni) had already started selling them.
At Chicken Inn opposite Tredgold, $100 bond notes were being exchanged for $US70. In other places, a $2 bond note was selling for $2,25 cents.
Residents who spoke to RadioVOP said government has deliberately brought back the black market which saw some well-connected individuals making a killing during the life of the Zim-dollar in 2008.
“We are now back to 2008 period where the black market was thriving. There is no way we can deny it. I believe well-connected people are behind this,” said one resident who identified herself as Nomalanga Tshuma.
With the introduction of a local currency, residents feared that hyper-inflation will hit the southern African nation very soon.
They urged the government to bite the bullet and withdraw bond notes from the market before more harm would have done.
“The problem with this government is that it doesn’t want to listen to its people.
People spoke loudly that they don’t want the bond notes but government defied them. Until when shall we continue like this as a nation?” asked another resident.
The central bank says bond notes are being introduced as an export incentive under the $200 million facility guaranteed by the African Export-Import Bank but they are largely viewed as a desperate measure to address long-running liquidity challenges.
Zimbabweans, still smarting from the demise of the local currency in 2009, view the bond notes as an attempt to re-introduce the Zimdollar through the back door.